Fev Rover, Didia Vie for Favoritism in Grade 1 $500,000 Beverly D. Saturday at Colonial Downs

The “Festival of Racing” program at Colonial Downs, scheduled for Saturday August 12, features three major graded stakes races — the G1 Arlington Million, G1 Beverly D and G2 Secretariat Stakes. A total of $2 million in purse monies will be on the line between those three stakes.

Seven fillies and mares will go to post in the Grade 1, $500,000 Beverly D. Stakes on Saturday at Colonial Downs. This year’s 33rd running of the Beverly D. will mark the first time the race has been run in Virginia. The mile and three-sixteenths test over the outer turf is carded as the ninth race of 11 on Saturday with a first post of 1:30 p.m. EDT. Post time for the Beverly D. is 5:55 p.m. 

The Beverly D. is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” race for the 2023 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf to be held this November at Santa Anita Park and is joined on Saturday’s spectacular card with the G1 Arlington Million for older races and the G2 $500,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds. With $2 million on the line in stakes purses alone, Saturday promises to be the richest day of horse racing in Virginia history.

Irish-bred Fev Rover shipped into the Colonial Downs backstretch August 7 in advance of her Beverly D start.

Tracy Farmer’s Fev Rover has been made the 2-1 morning line favorite and will start from the rail.  The 5-year-old Irish-bred made her U.S. debut last month in the Grade 1 Diana at Saratoga, finishing third, beaten just half a length. She was a Group 2 winner in France and has won a pair of graded stakes events at Woodbine including this year’s Grade 2 Nassau Stakes. Javier Castellano rides the daughter of Gutaifan for trainer Mark Casse.

Didia (inside) captures the TAA Old Nelson Stakes in July, 2022 at Colonial (Coady Photography)

The Argentine-bred Merribelle Stable’s Didia, the 3-1 second choice, is the only horse in the field who has run at Colonial Downs previously. Last season, she made her U.S. debut over the local lawn winning an allowance event before following that with a score in the $150,000 Old Nelson Stakes here in New Kent. Since then she was second in the Grade 1 New York Stakes at Belmont Park last time out. Before that, she added the Grade 3 Modesty at Churchill Downs to her resume. The Modesty served as the local prep for the Beverly D. when both races were run in Chicago. No distaffer has captured both races. Victor Cheminaud has the mount and the pair will leave the gate from post 5.

The 2023 Beverly D trophy

.Four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown has won the Beverly D. six times over his career and will send out a pair of Peter Brant-owned runners in search of lucky number seven.  Gina Romantica (5-1, post 6) took the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Keeneland last fall to close out her 3-year-old campaign. She made her 4-year-old debut at Monmouth Park last month in the Eatontown finishing fourth, beaten just a length and a quarter. Brown will also saddle graded stakes winner Rocky Sky (6-1) who will start from the outside post 7.  Flavien Prat gets the call aboard the former while Tyler Gaffalione gets a leg up astride the latter.

Eric Jensen’s Jan’s Girls (Antonio Gallardo, post 2, 12-1), Romagna Mia (John Velazquez, post 3, 4-1), and Qatar Racing LLC and Racehorse Club’s Mise En Scene (Jamie Spencer, post 4, 8-1) complete the field.